Biological Invasions

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 99–114 | Cite as

Genetic analysis of invasive Asian Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) in the Mississippi River Basin: evidence for multiple introductions

  • Margaret E. HunterEmail author
  • Leo G. Nico
Original Paper


Invasive Asian Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) have been present in USA aquaculture facilities since the 1980s and wild Black Carp have been found in the Mississippi River Basin since the early 1990s. This study characterizes the genetic diversity and relatedness of the Basin’s Black Carp and clarifies the introduction history. Analyses focused on three mitochondrial markers (control region, cytochrome-b, and 16S) and seven nuclear microsatellite markers (nDNA), using aquaculture and wild-caught samples collected in the upper and lower Mississippi Basin. Of the three mitochondrial haplotypes, two were shared between the aquaculture and wild populations, while a third was only present in upper Mississippi wild-caught specimens. Due to the presence of diploid and triploid fish, microsatellite markers were scored as pseudodominant and revealed low polymorphism (NA = 4.6, NA Ave = 1.5). Nuclear Bayesian clustering analyses identified two genetically distinct groups and four subclusters, each primarily composed of a unique haplotype. Samples from three aquaculture farms were assigned to group 1, while a fourth farm included samples from both groups 1 and 2. Wild-caught fish from the upper Basin were predominantly group 1, whereas wild samples from the lower Mississippi were assigned to both genetic groups. The presence of divergent haplotypes and distinct nDNA groups, along with geographic distribution patterns, indicate that wild populations in the basin likely resulted from multiple introductions. Genetic similarities between wild and captive populations support claims that aquaculture is the introduction source, but a shortage of samples and a history of repeated transfers among facilities obscure the precise pathway.


Cyprinidae Nuclear microsatellite marker Mitochondrial marker Phylogenetic population structure Polyploidy Pseudodominant loci 



We thank the following commercial fishers for procuring wild-caught specimens and sharing knowledge: Rusty Kimble, James Gaspard, Dwayne Dibble, Ronnie Watters, Aaron Pierce, Gary Shaw, and Preston Terrell. Others assisting in our hunt for specimen samples, included Mike Freeze, Jody David, Rob Maher, Greg Whitledge, Jacob Norman, James Candrl, Duane Chapman, and Jill Jenkins. Tim King and Michael Eackles provided microsatellite marker sequences and labeled aliquots for testing. Jill Jenkins and Rob Maher shared ploidy data. We are grateful to Jonathan Saunders, Theresa Floyd, and Gaia Meigs-Friend for assisting with sample processing. Rob Robins (Florida Museum of Natural History), Hank Bart and Justin Mann (Tulane University Museum of Natural History) cataloged museum vouchers. Howard Jelks and Mary Brown contributed time and help. Amy Benson and Matthew Neilson kindly reviewed manuscript drafts. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Invasive Species office and the U.S. Geological Survey Invasive Species Program provided funding. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Supplementary material

10530_2014_708_MOESM1_ESM.docx (30 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 29 kb)
10530_2014_708_MOESM2_ESM.docx (56 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 55 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southeast Ecological Science CenterU.S. Geological SurveyGainesvilleUSA

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